Cass County Commissioners are considering legislation, submitted to them by an opponent of Logansport’s power plant project, that would establish limits on air emissions.
Mercedes Brugh spoke on the ordinance at the commissioners meeting Monday. She said she based it on a similar piece of legislation currently being considered in Allentown, Pa., written by Mike Ewall, founder and director of of the Philadelphia-based Energy Justice Network who spoke on a panel organized by Brugh in Logansport in June. The panel questioned Logansport’s power plant project, which Mayor Ted Franklin continues to negotiate with Pyrolyzer LLC, the company out of Boca Raton, Fla., that is seeking to build an electricity plant that uses a process called pyrolysis to turn municipal solid waste into energy.
Addressing the commissioners, Brugh said the proposed ordinance would require that 10 classes of pollutants be monitored and four classes be limited.
The commissioners voted to take the ordinance under advisement. They declined to release the ordinance itself until a decision is made on whether to consider it for a vote.
Brugh mentioned specific pollutants at the meeting, however, including mercury and dioxins.
The proposed ordinance places stricter limits on carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide, Brugh said, based on averages for natural gas power plants available from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Emissions & Generation Resource Integrated Database, which can be found on the agency’s website.
Brugh is also proposing that the county take a more stringent stance on dioxins.
“The dioxin limit is about half of what the EPA allows municipal solid waste incinerators to emit,” she said of the proposed ordinance. “Actually, it’s a pretty easy target for any facility that has modern pollution controls. It should probably be tighter, especially when Cass County is considering very large facilities with tons of emissions.”